In Herman Park, Houston there is a Japanese Garden that attracts visitors far and wide. The garden itself was designed by a renowned landscape architect, and it boasts natural materials – rock, wood, plants – everything you need to find peace in a bustling city.
Visitors can take a walk among cherry trees, breathe in the scent of cherry blossoms when they bloom, or they can get lost in the crepe myrtles and Japanese maples. With stone paths to guide your way and waterfalls to enjoy, taking a walk and crossing the bridges should be the ideal way to spend an afternoon. Unless you happened to stray off the path.
Beware the touch of death in Herman Park in Houston, Texas
“It happened at twilight,” a brave visitor told us. “Maybe it wouldn’t have happened if I had been there at noon,” he added with a laugh. “You see, I didn’t know I strayed off the path,” he said. “There was no sign to warn me. The place is so serene that you feel like you can stay forever.”
But serenity is not what he found. He came across a bridge, and it was dark, darker than night. The trees surrounded him. “I could barely make out the leaves. It was spring; it shouldn’t have been so dark.”
But darkness did loom, and despite the warm weather, he felt cold. “It crept, slowly, from behind me. I felt cold all around, except ahead of me, where I could just make out the bridge.” And the scariest thing was the absence of sound. “The water should have gurgled. I should have been able to hear the waterfalls, the birds, the rustle of leaves.”
Yet, the park was silent all around.
“I could feel a pull,” he said. “Something was on the bridge, and it wanted me to cross. It wanted me to come closer.” The pull was quite strong. He walked ahead, the cold intensifying with every step. “Then I saw the shadow, lurking in the middle.”
Like a distortion of the night, a darker shade of black than the blackness around him, it waited, shimmering. “I shook myself, and put my hand on the railing. It was ice cold. I felt it leech my body heat.” Disengaging his hand from the bridge, which felt stuck, he turned around and ran, leaving the dark behind.
Cross the bridge to join a sinister ghost in the afterlife
Legend talks of a once homeless man, whose name has been lost in the centuries since his body walked the Earth. The man who had no friends, no family, who would roam the streets of one city, never saying a word nor seeking help.
Rumors say that Houston was his last stop. Where he came from, no one knows. No one knows what he sought, but he refused to speak, and he never accepted any help. But, locals say that his spirit can be felt all around. And in death, he seems to know what he wants – company.
The Japanese Garden in Hermann Park, Houston is merely his temporary home. If you stray off the path and cross his bridge, the garden might just become the permanent home for your spirit.